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  1. Claes Andersson (2008). Sophisticated Selectionism as a General Theory of Knowledge. Biology and Philosophy 23 (2):229-242.
    Human knowledge is a phenomenon whose roots extend from the cultural, through the neural and the biological and finally all the way down into the Precambrian “primordial soup.” The present paper reports an attempt at understanding this Greater System of Knowledge (GSK) as a hierarchical nested set of selection processes acting concurrently on several different scales of time and space. To this end, a general selection theory extending mainly from the work of Hull and Campbell is introduced. The perhaps most (...)
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  2. John Ashton (1933). The “Higher” in the Theory of Evolution. Thought 8 (2):272-285.
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  3. Robert Aunger (2006). Culture Evolves Only If There is Cultural Inheritance. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):347-348.
    Mesoudi et al. argue that the current inability to identify the means by which cultural traits are acquired does not debilitate their project to draw clear parallels between cultural and biological evolution. However, I suggest that cultural phenomena may be accounted for by biological processes, unless we can identify a cultural “genotype” that carries information from person to person independently of genes. (Published Online November 9 2006).
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  4. Martin Barrett, Hayley Clatterbuck, Michael Goldsby, Casey Helgeson, Brian McLoone, Trevor Pearce, Elliott Sober, Reuben Stern & Naftali Weinberger (2012). Puzzles for ZFEL, McShea and Brandon's Zero Force Evolutionary Law. Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):723-735.
    In their 2010 book, Biology’s First Law, D. McShea and R. Brandon present a principle that they call ‘‘ZFEL,’’ the zero force evolutionary law. ZFEL says (roughly) that when there are no evolutionary forces acting on a population, the population’s complexity (i.e., how diverse its member organisms are) will increase. Here we develop criticisms of ZFEL and describe a different law of evolution; it says that diversity and complexity do not change when there are no evolutionary causes.
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  5. Patrick Bateson (2006). The Nest's Tale. A Reply to Richard Dawkins. Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):553-558.
    If temperature does not vary from one generation from to the next but its value is crucial for the development of particular phenotypic characteristics, a long-term change in its value may trigger major evolutionary changes of the organism. If a bird's nest maintains the critical temperature, then a statement that the bird is the nest's way of making another nest is as helpful as accounts couched in terms of genes' intentions. However, the language of intentions rests on different evidence and (...)
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  6. William M. Baum (2001). Two Stumbling Blocks to a General Account of Selection: Replication and Information. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):528-528.
    When one takes the evolution of operant behavior as prototype, one sees that the term replication is too tied to the peculiarities of genetic evolution. A more general term is recurrence. The important problem raised by recurrence is not “information” but relationship: deciding when two occurrences belong to the same lineage. That is solved by looking at common environmental effects.
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  7. John Beatty (1994). The Proximate/Ultimate Distinction in the Multiple Careers of Ernst Mayr. Biology and Philosophy 9 (3):333-356.
    Ernst Mayr''s distinction between ultimate and proximate causes is justly considered a major contribution to philosophy of biology. But how did Mayr come to this philosophical distinction, and what role did it play in his earlier scientific work? I address these issues by dividing Mayr''s work into three careers or phases: 1) Mayr the naturalist/researcher, 2) Mayr the representative of and spokesman for evolutionary biology and systematics, and more recently 3) Mayr the historian and philosopher of biology. If we want (...)
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  8. Naomi Beck (2011). Be Fruitful and Multiply: Growth, Reason, and Cultural Group Selection in Hayek and Darwin. Biological Theory 6 (4):413-423.
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  9. Jean-Sébastien Bolduc & Frank Cézilly (2012). Optimality Modelling in the Real World. Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):851-869.
    In a recent paper, Potochnik (Biol Philos 24(2):183–197, 2009) analyses some uses of optimality modelling in light of the anti-adaptationism criticism. She distinguishes two broad classes of such uses (weak and strong) on the basis of assumptions held by biologists about the role and the importance of natural selection. This is an interesting proposal that could help in the epistemological characterisation of some biological practices. However, Potochnik’s distinction also rests on the assumption that all optimality modelling represent the selection dynamic (...)
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  10. Walter Bossert, Chloe X. Qi & John A. Weymark (2013). Extensive Social Choice and the Measurement of Group Fitness in Biological Hierarchies. Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):75-98.
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  11. Frédéric Bouchard (2011). Darwinism Without Populations: A More Inclusive Understanding of the “Survival of the Fittest”. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):106-114.
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  12. R. N. Brandon (1997). Discussion: Screening-Off and Visibility to Selection-Reply. Biology and Philosophy 12 (4):531-538.
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  13. Robert N. Brandon (1999). The Units of Selection Revisited: The Modules of Selection. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 14 (2):167-180.
    Richard Lewontin's (1970) early work on the units of selection initiated the conceptual and theoretical investigations that have led to the hierarchical perspective on selection that has reached near consensus status today. This paper explores other aspects of his work, work on what he termed continuity and quasi-independence, that connect to contemporary explorations of modularity in development and evolution. I characterize such modules and argue that they are the true units of selection in that they are what evolution by natural (...)
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  14. Robert N. Brandon, Janis Antonovics, Richard Burian, Scott Carson, Greg Cooper, Paul Sheldon Davies, Christopher Horvath, Brent D. Mishler, Robert C. Richardson, Kelly Smith & Peter Thrall (1994). Sober on Brandon on Screening-Off and the Levels of Selection. Philosophy of Science 61 (3):475-486.
    Sober (1992) has recently evaluated Brandon's (1982, 1990; see also 1985, 1988) use of Salmon's (1971) concept of screening-off in the philosophy of biology. He critiques three particular issues, each of which will be considered in this discussion.
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  15. Joseph Allen Cain & Lindley Darden (1988). Hull and Selection. Biology and Philosophy 3 (2):165-171.
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  16. John Cassidy (1981). Ambiguities and Pragmatic Factors in the Units of Selection Controversy. Philosophy of Science 48 (1):95-111.
    The question "what is (are) the unit(s) of selection" can be interpreted in three different ways. These interpretations are discussed and it is shown that they prompt different answers; such units are shown to be individuals in the context of the given interpretation. One of these interpretations is argued, by examples, not always to have an unambiguously correct answer. An alternative approach to this question is sketched.
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  17. A. Charles Catania (2001). Selection as a Cause Versus the Causes of Selection. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):533-533.
    Hull et al. rightly point out the special character of selection as a causal mode, but ironically they seem to force selection back into traditional causal modes by decomposing it into replication, variation, and environmental interaction. Many processes are selective, and a taxonomy of a broad range of kinds of selection may be preferable to narrowing the applicability of the term.
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  18. Gary A. Cziko (2001). Heeding Darwin but Ignoring Bernard: External Behaviors Are Not Selected, Internal Goals Are. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):534-535.
    Hull et al. see responses and properties of responses as units of selection in behavioral change. However, this perspective cannot account for goal-directed behavior in which organisms employ variable means to reliably attain intended consequences. An alternative perspective is offered in which the intended consequences (goals) of behavior serve as the units of selection in behavior change.
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  19. Patrizia D'Ettorre (2008). Multiple Levels of Recognition in Ants: A Feature of Complex Societies. Biological Theory 3 (2):108-113.
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  20. Joachim Dagg (2012). The Paradox of Sexual Reproduction and the Levels of Selection: Can Sociobiology Shed a Light? Philosophy and Theory in Biology 4 (20130604).
    The group selection controversy largely focuses on altruism (e.g., Wilson 1983; Lloyd 2001; Shavit 2004; Okasha 2006, 173ff; Borrello 2010; Leigh 2010; Rosas 2010; Hamilton and Dimond in press). Multilevel selection theory is a resolution of this controversy. Whereas kin selection partitions inclusive fitness into direct and indirect components (via influencing the replication of copies of genes in other individuals), multilevel selection considers within-group and between-group components of fitness (Gardner et al. 2011; Lion et al. 2011). Two scenarios of multilevel (...)
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  21. John Damuth & I. Lorraine Heisler (1988). Alternative Formulations of Multilevel Selection. Biology and Philosophy 3 (4):407-430.
    Hierarchical expansions of the theory of natural selection exist in two distinct bodies of thought in evolutionary biology, the group selection and the species selection traditions. Both traditions share the point of view that the principles of natural selection apply at levels of biological organization above the level of the individual organism. This leads them both to considermultilevel selection situations, where selection is occurring simultaneously at more than one level. Impeding unification of the theoretical approaches of the multilevel selection traditions (...)
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  22. Richard Dawkins (2004). Extended Phenotype – but Not Too Extended. A Reply to Laland, Turner and Jablonka. Biology and Philosophy 19 (3):377-396.
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  23. Richard Dawkins (1994). Burying the Vehicle. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):616-617.
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  24. Benoît De Gaudemar (1998). Sexual Selection and Breeding Patterns: Insights From Salmonids (Salmonidae). Acta Biotheoretica 46 (3).
    Although "intrasexual selection" has been accepted as the mechanism by which males evolve elaborate secondary sexual traits which are used in aggressive contests, the importance of "intersexual selection" as a mechanism by which males have acquired exaggerated traits to display to females during courtship was less readily accepted. In spite of this scepticism, several genetic models have supported the latter idea, and many empirical studies showed that females were generally more discriminating in mate choice than males, because of differences in (...)
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  25. Michael R. Dietrich (1998). Paradox and Persuasion: Negotiating the Place of Molecular Evolution Within Evolutionary Biology. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 31 (1):85 - 111.
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  26. Michael R. Dietrich (1994). The Origins of the Neutral Theory of Molecular Evolution. Journal of the History of Biology 27 (1):21 - 59.
  27. Stephen M. Downes (2010). Moving Past the Levels of Selection Debates: Review of Samir Okasha's Evolution and the Levels of Selection. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):417-423.
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  28. Stephen M. Downes (2009). Moving Past the Levels of Selection Debates. Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):703-709.
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  29. L. Dujardin & E. Dei-Cas (1999). Towards a Model of Host-Parasite Relationships. Acta Biotheoretica 47 (3-4).
    The question asked in this article is: what is a parasite?. Defining a parasite requires defining its host at the same time. A difficult question therefore arises about host-parasite relationships. The object of general parasitology is in fact to study the relationship between a host and its parasite. The initial question what is a parasite? has to be reformulated within a conceptual framework, that of relationship. This article is an attempt to transpose into parasitology some concepts which have been profitable (...)
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  30. J. Dupre (2001). In Defence of Classification. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 32 (2):203-219.
    It has increasingly been recognised that units of biological classification cannot be identified with the units of evolution. After briefly defending the necessity of this distinction I argue, contrary to the prevailing orthodoxy, that species should be treated as the fundamental units of classification and not, therefore, as units of evolution. This perspective fits well with the increasing tendency to reject the search for a monistic basis of classification and embrace a pluralistic and pragmatic account of the species category. It (...)
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  31. Jay N. Eacker (2001). Selection and the Unification of Science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):535-536.
    Selection in behavior analysis fits the criteria of replication, variation and interaction proposed by the authors except for information under replication. If information requires physical structure, behavior analysis does not fit that model because functional analysis may provide parallels between behavior, neurology, and biochemistry but not sequencing. The three sciences are not unified by the model but another is available.
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  32. David A. Eckerman & Steven M. Kemp (2001). Selection: Unexplored and Underexplored Realms. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):536-537.
    A profound problem in viewing operant learning as selection appears to be the identification of replicators. Given the lack of consensus on what constitutes the appropriate unit of analysis for behavior, there may be multiple levels at which the metaphor of selection may be usefully applied. A final difficulty: The elements of selection in the evolution of species are objects. In behavior, they are events.
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  33. Marc Ereshefsky & Peter James (1994). The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 16 (2):355.
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  34. P. Forber (2008). Evolution and the Levels of Selection. Philosophical Review 117 (4):626-630.
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  35. J. A. Frisch (1937). Genetic Variations in Relation to Evolution. Thought 12 (1):144-150.
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  36. Trevon Fuller (2003). The Integrative Biology of Phenotypic Plasticity. Biology and Philosophy 18 (2):381-389.
  37. Liane Gabora (2004). Ideas Are Not Replicators but Minds Are. Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):127-143.
    An idea is not a replicator because it does not consist of coded self-assembly instructions. It may retain structure as it passes from one individual to another, but does not replicate it. The cultural replicator is not an idea but an associatively-structured network of them that together form an internal model of the world, or worldview. A worldview is a primitive, uncoded replicator, like the autocatalytic sets of polymers widely believed to be the earliest form of life. Primitive replicators generate (...)
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  38. Lisa Gannett (1999). What's in a Cause?: The Pragmatic Dimensions of Genetic Explanations. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 14 (3):349-373.
    The paper argues for a pragmatic account of genetic explanation. This is to say that when a disease or other trait is termed genetic, the reasons for singling out genes as causes over other, also necessary, genetic and nongenetic conditions are not wholly theoretical but include pragmatic dimensions. Whether the explanation is the presence of a trait in an individual or differences in a trait among individuals, genetic explanations are context-dependent in three ways: they are relative to a causal background (...)
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  39. Michael T. Ghiselin (1989). Sex and the Individuality of Species: A Reply to Mishler and Brandon. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 4 (1):73-76.
  40. Abraham H. Gibson (2013). Edward O. Wilson and the Organicist Tradition. Journal of the History of Biology 46 (4):599-630.
    Edward O. Wilson’s recent decision to abandon kin selection theory has sent shockwaves throughout the biological sciences. Over the past two years, more than a hundred biologists have signed letters protesting his reversal. Making sense of Wilson’s decision and the controversy it has spawned requires familiarity with the historical record. This entails not only examining the conditions under which kin selection theory first emerged, but also the organicist tradition against which it rebelled. In similar fashion, one must not only examine (...)
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  41. Scott F. Gilbert (1992). Cells in Search of Community: Critiques of Weismannism and Selectable Units in Ontogeny. Biology and Philosophy 7 (4):473-487.
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  42. Philip D. Gingerich (1993). The Nature of Species The Units of Evolution: Essays on the Nature of Species Marc Ereshefsky. BioScience 43 (3):179-180.
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  43. Stuart Glennan (2002). Contextual Unanimity and the Units of Selection Problem. Philosophy of Science 69 (1):118-137.
    Sober and Lewontin's critique of genic selectionism is based upon the principle that a unit of selection should make a context‐independent contribution to fitness. Critics have effectively shown that this principle is flawed. In this paper I show that the context independence principle is an instance of a more general principle for characterizing causes,called the contextual unanimity principle. I argue that this latter principle, while widely accepted, is erroneous. What is needed is to replace the approach to causality characterized by (...)
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  44. Peter Godfrey-Smith (2008). Varieties of Population Structure and the Levels of Selection. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (1):25-50.
    Group-structured populations, of the kind prominent in discussions of multilevel selection, are contrasted with ‘neighbor-structured’ populations. I argue that it is a necessary condition on multilevel description of a selection process that there should be a nonarbitrary division of the population into equivalence classes (or an approximation to this situation). The discussion is focused via comparisons between two famous problem cases involving group structure (altruism and heterozygote advantage) and two neighbor-structured cases that resemble them. Conclusions are also drawn about the (...)
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  45. P. Godfrey-Smith & B. Kerr (2013). Gestalt-Switching and the Evolutionary Transitions. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):205-222.
    Formal methods developed for modeling levels of selection problems have recently been applied to the investigation of major evolutionary transitions. We discuss two new tools of this kind. First, the ‘near-variant test’ can be used to compare the causal adequacy of predictively equivalent representations. Second, ‘state-variable gestalt-switching’ can be used to gain a useful dual perspective on evolutionary processes that involve both higher and lower level populations.
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  46. Peter Godfrey-Smith (2011). Agents and Acacias: Replies to Dennett, Sterelny, and Queller. Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):501-515.
    The commentaries by Dennett, Sterelny, and Queller on Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection (DPNS) are so constructive that they make it possible to extend and improve the book’s framework in several ways. My replies will focus on points of disagreement, and I will pick a small number of themes and develop them in detail. The three replies below are mostly self-contained, except that all my comments about genes, discussed by all three critics, are in the reply to Queller. Agential views (...)
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  47. Peter Godfrey-Smith (2002). Individualist and Multi-Level Perspectives on Selection in Structured Populations. Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):477-517.
    Recent years have seen a renewed debate over the importance of groupselection, especially as it relates to the evolution of altruism. Onefeature of this debate has been disagreement over which kinds ofprocesses should be described in terms of selection at multiple levels,within and between groups. Adapting some earlier discussions, we presenta mathematical framework that can be used to explore the exactrelationships between evolutionary models that do, and those that donot, explicitly recognize biological groups as fitness-bearing entities.We show a fundamental set (...)
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  48. Peter Godfrey-Smith (1992). Additivity and the Units of Selection. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:315 - 328.
    "Additive variance in fitness" is an important concept in the formal apparatus of population genetics. Wimsatt and Lloyd have argued that this concept can also be used to decide the "unit of selection" in an evolutionary process. The paper argues that the proposed criteria of Wimsatt and Lloyd are ambiguous, and several interpretations of their views are presented. It is argued that none of these interpretations provide acceptable criteria for deciding units of selection. The reason is that additive variance in (...)
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  49. Peter Godfrey-Smith & Benjamin Kerr, Selection in Ephemeral Networks.
    A model of “ephemeral” population structure is presented that applies not only to biological systems in which discrete groups form but also to networks without group boundaries. The evolution of altruistic behaviors is discussed. Nonrandom interaction and nonlinear fitness structures are modeled; together, these factors can produce stable polymorphisms of altruistic and selfish types, as well as bistability. Empirical applications of the model may be found in microbes, marine invertebrates, annual plants, and other organisms.
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  50. Peter Godfrey-Smith & Benjamin Kerr (2002). Group Fitness and Multi-Level Selection: Replies to Commentaries. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 17 (4):539-549.
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